Using collagen powder as a dietary supplement is something you will hear and read about everywhere. But what is collagen, what does it do for your skin and body, and what do you need to know about it if you want to start taking collagen supplements?
What is Collagen?
The word collagen combines two Greek words: Kolla (glue) and Gene (to produce).
Collagen is the most essential protein in human connective tissue, found primarily in the dermis, the second layer of skin, and, of course, in the rest of the body, where collagen supports body tissue, muscle, and bone. Collagen helps our skin and body tissues because of its glue-like properties.
When collagen is added to supplements, this collagen is always of animal origin, most commonly bovine or fish collagen. This collagen is obtained from the tendons, bones, skin, connective tissue, and cartilage of cattle and fish. Vegetable collagen does not exist. There are (plant) foods that stimulate collagen production, but they are completely different.
What Collagen Powder Does for the Skin and Body
Collagen is essential to our skin and body because it gives skin elasticity. It is the foundation that binds with elastin fibers to provide our skin and body tissues firmness, smoothness, and elasticity. Many studies have shown that collagen powders and supplements have many benefits for your skin and body, such as:
- Moisturizes and tightens the skin.
- Less wrinkling.
- Stronger nails, hair, tendons, and bones.
- Improved digestive system.
- Accelerates recovery after strenuous exercise.
- Improves muscle strength
- Decrease in joint pain
- Acts as an antioxidant.
Types of Collagen
As already mentioned, bovine and fish collagen are the most common collagen used in food supplements. In terms of efficacy, there is no significant difference between the two types of collagen, but bovine collagen is most commonly used in food supplements.
There are three types of collagen, each contributing to a specific part of the body or the whole body.
- Collagen type 1: skin, bones, ligaments, cartilage, connective tissue, tendons, blood vessels, hair, and nails.
- Collagen type 2: joints, intervertebral discs, larynx, trachea, nose, ribs, etc.
- Collagen type 3: skin, wound repair, tissues, blood vessels, etc.
Collagen type 1 is the most complete, covering 90% of all collagen in the body. Bovine collagen contains both type 1 and type 3, while fish collagen contains mainly type 1.
Absorption Rate of Collagen Powder
Using pure collagen as a supplement does not make sense. This is because the molecules are too large and too complex to be absorbed by the body. This is why we choose hydrolyzed collagen or collagen peptides. Hydrolyzed collagen is collagen that has already been reduced in size. Therefore, studies have shown that collagen peptides (i.e., small structure fragments) are the only collagen the body can absorb.
Collagen peptides are not broken down in the digestive tract and are absorbed by the body, allowing for proper processing. In fact, the peptides in fish collagen appear to be even slightly smaller than those derived from bovine collagen. This aids in absorbability. In this way, the skin and body can be approached from the inside out.
This basic principle is a must for collagen powder as a supplement to achieve the desired results.
Why Use Collagen Tablets or Powder?
Our bodies produce collagen on their own, but after the age of 25, the amount of collagen produced in the body decreases. As collagen production decreases, skin elasticity decreases, causing sagging and thinning hair. Decreased collagen in muscles and joints causes the body to become stiff and inflexible.
Collagen tablets or powder can be used to help the body regain its elasticity, skin, hair, and nails, as well as increase the flexibility of muscles and joints.
Have you ever tried using collagen powder for your skin? Let us know in the comments below!